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The history of Nestle begins in 1866 when the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk company was founded. “Henri Nestlé develops a breakthrough infant food in 1867, and in 1905 the company he founded merges with Anglo-Swiss, to form what is now known as the Nestlé Group.” (“The Nestle Company History”, par.1) Henri Nestle lowered mortality rates for infants that were unable to breastfeed by creating his life-saving baby formula ‘farine lactee’. From then on it was a snowball effect of mergers and new brands. Being in business 150 years they now are the largest food and beverage company and have over 2,000 brands, sell in 189 countries, and has around 323,000 employees.
(“At a glance”, chart)
When World War II broke out in 1939, many companies and businesses suffered due to the loss of workers and supplies. Many people struggled during the war because of this and no one understood this more than the Jews. While in prisons and concentration camps they were made to work until they died or passed out from exhaustion, in the meantime most prisoners personal assets were stolen or transferred into separate accounts that they could not receive back if they made it through the war.
Nestle acquired a company in Germany called Maggi, who turned a blind eye to the worker’s treatment during the war.
Nestle helped fund the Nazi party after winning a massive contract to provide the German soldiers with chocolate that was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. “In 1933, the same year that Adolph Hitler rose to power in Germany, the food giant was helping to finance the creation of a Nazi Party in its native Switzerland.
” (Jonathan Broder, par. 1) Another claim is that the issue is not that Nestle’s company Maggi used forced labor but it is the way that the workers were treated. They did not have many options in using forced labor or not, but they could have at least treated the workers with dignity and respect. (Markus Haefliger, par. 6)
The Holocaust was not only one of the biggest murders in history but also one of the biggest robberies because of the theft of personal belongings from the prisoners, even as terrible as stealing the gold out of their teeth, and because of the wages not paid to the slave labor victims. Nestle has since then made contributions to Holocaust survivor organizations to help repay the wages that were owed to the survivors or their families because of a lawsuit filed against many companies that had also used slave labor or mistreated people during the war. “Four Swiss insurers are adding $50 million to the settlement and over 35 Swiss companies, including food giant Nestle, whose wartime subsidiaries used slave labor are making financial contributions to the settlement fund, in the expectation it would cover any possible claims against them.” (Bradsher, par. 18)
Nestle does own up to the accusations but does not acknowledge it on their company page, which is understandable because it was a terrible event in history that they are trying to make up for and does not want that mistake to continue to ruin their company by reliving the past. They have a timeline of important events that have happened in their company on their company page, World War II is mentioned but the accusations are not. Nestle now delivers quality products and has high standards for what they produce and how they produce it. While going into a grocery store there will not be many products that are not manufactured by Nestle. Everything from Gerber baby food to Fancy Feast for your feline friend is a part of Nestle. (“Our Brands”, chart)
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